Former British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn stressed the need to address the issue of Western Sahara within the context of decolonization, expressing his hope that the Sahrawi people would be enabled to exercise its right to self-determination.
“What we hope to achieve is simply the completion of decolonization. This is a clear and agreed principle in international law and the Charter of the United Nations,” Corbyn said, at an international symposium organized by the Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA), on the role of the United Nations in Western Sahara.
“The issue of Western Sahara must be addressed within the context of decolonization,” he added, drawing attention to the human tragedy caused by the invasion and occupation of Western Sahara, which led to the displacement of the Sahrawis while their wealth is being exploited by Morocco and those involved with it.
He went on to say: “We must not forget the Sahrawi generations who suffered from displacement and those who live under occupation in harsh conditions,” noting that he witnessed first-hand the extent of human rights violations during his visit to the occupied territories.
Corbyn pointed out that “the Sahrawi leadership has been able to maintain cohesion and unity of objective over the past decades in order to achieve self-determination for which they are fully entitled, and we must express our utmost appreciation for it.”
The symposium, which was moderated by the former Australian Senator and the current AWSA President, Ms. Lyn Allison, coincided with the commemoration of the 46th anniversary of national unity by the Saharawi people.
The panelists also included Francesco Bastagli, Former Head of the UN Mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and UN representative in Western Sahara, Senator Tim Ayres, Australian Labor Senator, Golriz Ghahraman MP, New Zealand Green Party, and Kamal Fadel, Polisario Front Representative in Australia and New Zealand.